I believe in pessimism. It seems to me that pessimism has become associated with failure, and as someone who has directly benefited from his pessimism I strongly disagree with that association. I have for a long time been getting straight A’s in every grade with the rare exception of a B, and pessimism helped me immensely in accomplishing that. It seems to me that society has defined pessimism as a reason to give up, to be afraid of the results from your hard work, and to do as bad a job since you are going to fail anyway, but as I see it pessimism is not a reason to give up but to work even harder, to expect the worst but hope for the best, and to always be ready for the worst case scenario.
I have for a long time been a pessimist, especially in regards to school. My first year in the Israeli elementary school of Rozen was really just a string of bad grades and disappointments, and as I was entering the second grade both my parents and I started hoping for better grades. The first test in the second grade was of utmost importance to me and would prove to me and my parents that I cared and could do well in school. After looking back at why I failed so much in the first grade, I spent an entire hour going over the material instead of watching TV and prepared more than ever before. I aced that test. That first taste of incredible pride mixed with victorious glory that 100 brings forth is what forever made me believe that without preparation I will fail, that without hard work I will not do well grade on any project, and that there is no such thing as studying too much. My pessimism arose from my first success, my first hundred, and it has helped me get more hundreds ever since.
Ever since that first test, pessimism has been my companion as I moved from elementary school to high school and from Israel to America. Pessimism has become a central principle of my life; expect the worst if you don’t prepare fro the best. Even now is study for tests in the tenth grade with the same attitude as when I studied for that English test in the second grade. Pessimism has made me study enough to get good grades and has prepared me to accept bad ones, and I love pessimism right now as I have an A in all but one class and my GPA is at 4.167.
Pessimism has helped me succeed in the past and present, and will continue helping me throughout the future. No matter where I go, I shall work and study rigorously with a pessimistic attitude and that will help me do well. That attitude has never failed me before, which is why I believe in pessimism.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.